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From "Dan Rossi" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] RE: ssl pass phrase dialog on startup
Date Mon, 18 Nov 2002 10:48:05 GMT
so regarding my last question , can ssl be setup as i have made it on
virtualhosts or do i need a seperate ip for each ssl site ?

-----Original Message-----
From: Boyle Owen []
Sent: Monday, November 18, 2002 8:58 PM
Subject: RE: [users@httpd] RE: ssl pass phrase dialog on startup

Use the passphrase by all means, if you think it is necessary. The
downside is that a passphrase-knower has to be on 24-hr callout and the
response time for getting the server back up depends on getting that guy
to the keyboard. For the dubious security gain it provides (practically
none), I don't think it's worth the hassle.

As regards vulnerability via backups - I wouldn't backup
/usr/local/apache/conf/ssl.key. If you want a copy of the key, keep it
on a floppy in a safe.

The "corrupt employee" scam beats any security scheme you can think of,
including the floppy-in-a-safe. The only really, really secure scheme I
can think of is dual-key - but Richard Prior got round even that in
Superman 3 :-)

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Howarth, Richard []
>Sent: Montag, 18. November 2002 10:48
>To: ''
>Subject: RE: [users@httpd] RE: ssl pass phrase dialog on startup
>> Having said that, my personal opinion is that there not much point to
>> the passphrase - an SSL server should be highly secure
>> anyway, with the
>> cert readable only by root so theft of the cert should be as
>> as finding out the passphrase - i.e. anyone who can copy the
>> cert has to
>> have root privilege and so would know the passphrase anyway.
>Or it can be as easy as obtaining a backup -  either by theft, careless
>handling of backup media or simply making an offer to a lowly
>paid operator
>that they can't refuse.  The certificate can then be restored and used
>without recourse to root privilege.
>Once it is out in the wild, you have lost it.
>> I think the
>> safest way to run is without passphrase but with a highly secure
>> webserver.
>The passphrase is another layer in the security onion.
>Whether or not you
>should be using it will depend upon the nature of your
>business, your local
>data protection laws and what the people who audit your
>company accounts and
>practices think.
>For private use and small business it may not be an issue, but in an
>increasingly litigious world it is worth thinking twice before making
>yourself culpable by willfully failing to implement or circumventing a
>security feature.
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